Andrea Caldarelli comes to Pole Position, two years in a row! Finishes 9th from the Race due to some fluster at start.



15sf3-CAL1After two months or so of long interval, the 2015 Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Round 3 came to Fuji Speedway. It was in this round last year that Andrea Caldarelli took pole position even on spot entry, and again this year this wondrous Italian driver now with full-season entry this season with the prestigious LENOVO TEAM IMPUL arrived at Fuji Speedway with high targets. Also, as some of the setting issues which the machine was suffering were fixed since the last round, Andrea arrived at the track this week with ever greater confidence and aspirations.




July 18 (SAT)  Official Qualifying


15sf3-CAL9With small influences remaining from Typhoon 11 which had just gone by, the practice session in the morning (09:15-10:15) took place in Wet condition. Drizzles of rain were falling as the session began, which turned heavier at one point, but eventually dried as the session proceeded. In such indecisive conditions, 19 machines set up their machines eyeing the Qualifying held later that afternoon. LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF15 (No. 20) with Andrea Caldarelli marked an 8th position time (1’37.059) from this session.


Everyone thought the weather should clear up before noon, but still thick rain clouds persisted over foots of Mt.Fuji, and under such auspices the Official Qualifying got set to begin.


15sf3-CAL10Amid such difficult wet conditions of continuous rainy weather, Andrea on No. 20 LENOVO TEAM IMPUL soon overwhelmed all the rest with 1’41.219 in the first qualifying segment (Q1 14:45 – 15:05) clocking the top time, actually a full 1 second ahead of others. Also in Q2 (15:15 – 15:22), he marked a 1’40.937 at the top again and Q3 naturally came his way! The unstoppable driver continued his strong push in Q3 (15:32-15:39) as well, took the pole position (1’40.868) again making himself a two consecutive year pole-sitter of this Fuji round. In P2 was Joao Paolo de Oliveira on No. 19, and thus LENOVO TEAM IMPUL secured their 1-2 position on the starting grid for the Race.



15sf3-CAL7Andrea Caldarelli

“Because of difficult to read weather, we tried not to over-setup the machine in the morning’s practice session. Coming onto the qualifying, some of the simulation I did with my engineer assuming rainy  conditions gave me good confidence to go pushing already from Q1, and then all the way to Q3 always clocking the top time, so I’m quite happy. Ever since Okayama, machine overall started running better too, so I’m really glad to be able to dominate the front row with JP tomorrow!”





July 19th (SUN) Race


15sf3-CAL3Weather finally cleared up above Fuji Speedway on Sunday morning, and the Free Practice (Air temp. 26 deg. C/Track temp. 30 deg. C) starting from 8:50am for 30 minutes, was held in Dry condition. Andrea Caldarelli, as checking into the machine marked the best time of 1’25.778 finished the session in 2nd following Joao Paolo de Oliveira. This just reminded everybody else of how strong both LENOVO TEAM IMPUL machines continue to be.


Eventually, the clocked ticked 14:00, the exact time to start the Race! Up in the sky, there were relatively thick and dark clouds lingering, but even then rain-drops never fell and finally the 55 laps of battle got off with a fair start under Dry condition. 


15sf3-CAL4As the red signals lit and then blacked out, Andrea Caldarelli on LENOVO TEAM IMPUL kicked off from pole position, but could not help being passed by no. 19 JP de Oliveira. Then, coming upon the 1st corner, Andrea got contacted by another machine that gushed into the corner with hard braking. This inflicted damage on his front wing. On top of that there were other competitors that coursed out by collision, and the Safety Car was brought in. Andrea went straight into the pit, changed parts and rejoined the field in P17.


15sf3-CAL5In spite of such a stir-up in the earlier part of the race, Andrea continued to strive with a constant pace and by the 6th lap was up running in 15th, on the 9th lap up to 14th. Team closely watching the flow and development of the race, requested Andrea to pit just after finishing his 10th lap. After refueling, No. 20 set out to the course again. It was from here that this aggressive Italian driver exhibited his inherent “Speed”, and raised his position up and up while managing the tyres. On the 43rd lap, a battle for 9th began with no. 8 (Team KYGNUS SUNOCO) which lasted for as long as 10 laps, and finally this tail-to-nose fight was decided on the 54th lap when Andrea gave a brilliant overtaking, and as a result LENOVO TEAM IMPUL No. 20, Andrea Caldarelli got the chequered flag positioning 9th.


15sf3-CAL6Andrea Caldarelli

“This race week was good, all except for my start today. I got the pole position as fighting off difficult conditions, was confident with the speed as getting ready for today’s race, and so this makes me more discontent about what happened on the 1st corner. Also with no change of tyres throughout, it did turn into a tough race for me but going from the very back and working my way up to 9th isn’t all that bad. I’m also happy that JP won, which just showed how strong LENOVO TEAM IMPUL is, together as one team. Before the coming round, I’ll make a good switch of mind and work hard, stay focused towards the next race. Please continue to give me your loud cheer and support!”


The next round 2015 Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Rd. 4 will be held at Twin Ring Motegi over the weekend of August 22 and 23rd.